Questions for ‘Cool Jobs: Decoding how your brain “reads”’


Sarah Laszlo prepares a subject for brainwave capture. He’s wearing an EEG cap studded with electrodes. These tiny metal discs pick up the brain’s electrical signals. They send the signals to a device that records that activity as a series of spiky lines.

Binghamton University

To accompany feature “Cool Jobs: Decoding how your brain ‘reads’”


Before Reading: 

1.  What is happening inside your brain as you read this? Do you “hear” the words?

2.  Have you or someone you know ever had trouble reading? How did you (or that person) deal with the issue?

During Reading: 

1.  What is word blindness?

2.  Why do stroke victims often have trouble with language?

3.  How did the teacher at the beginning of this story adjust to her reading problem?

4.  Name two celebrities with dyslexia.

5.  Why have the Shaywitzes been following more than 400 children since they were in the first grade?

6.  How do most people process written words in their brain? Which portions of the brain do they use? How is this different in people with dyslexia?

7.  How can a teacher identify a student who might have dyslexia?

8.  What is an EEG and what is it used for?

9.  How does Sarah Laszlo keep visits to her lab fun for kids participating in her studies?

10.  How many peaks does a person’s EEG response to a word have?

After Reading: 

1.  Most kids with dyslexia aren’t diagnosed until after they’re already struggling in school. How might this change if there were a way to diagnose students early, before they have problems in class? Should all kids get tested for dyslexia? Explain your reasoning.

2.  What would you do if you suddenly started having problems recognizing words or reading? Would you go to someone? Who?